Thursday, 29 March 2012

Meeting Hornby

  I met Nick Hornby today at an event at the Ministry of Stories on Hoxton Street, which if I can say with my teacher's head on is a fantastic groundbreaking project promoting creative writing for children and adolescents which anyone involved in education in Hackney should check out (apparently based on a similar project Dave Eggers founded in San Fransisco.) Our students with learning disabilities had participated in several workshops encouraging them to invent 'sensory poems' about their experiences of local shops and cafes -their words were then transmuted into 'plaques' to be displayed in each of the places' windows, creating concrete links between learners' individual perspectives and their immediate environment.
   Having an 18year old son who is on the autistic spectrum, Nick Hornby ( a remarkably down-to-earth guy for a best-selling author) seemed to have an excellent understanding of what an important project this was and did the presentations of the hand-pressed books which each of the students took away. He even spoke of perhaps wanting his son to attend one of our courses.
    I'm an admirer of High Fidelity, the only book of Hornby's I've read - not so much for the style as for its insights into obsessional music geekery as both a mask for - and at the same time a furtherance of - a young man's diffidence and immaturity.
    But I despair of ever getting a novel published. Yesterday I received with surprise a self-addressed envelope with my novel-sample and synopsis in it - surprise, because I haven't sent out any postal submissions for ages. Checking the date on the covering letter, I realised it was from an agent I had submitted to in September 2010.

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